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Old 01-19-2003, 05:05 PM
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I am not as extreme as many of you but I have my quirks....
I buy as much food as I can in bulk...rice, beans, hot cocoa mix, cocoa, dry milk, dried egg and egg white, even decorations for cakes and cookies, as well as spices. I save a bundle and this allows me to have many more spices on hand. Flour I tend to buy on sale, it is usually cheaper than bulk, the same with sugar.
I do not buy everyday clothes if they need to be dry cleaned....I wear clothes to work and they are my every day cloths....I have coats that need dry cleaning but after several seasons I try to wash them...most do well. I won't give up my fabric softener...sorry, I like the feel as well as the smell and the softness...I did decrease the amount I use by 1/2.
I use vinegar and ammoinia, and bleach and baking soda to clean...every once in a while I want to give into some new fangled cleaner but try to fight the urge...I do use Cloroxoxygen ( like Oxyclean), it is great on organic stains.
I love buying things used that people then drool over....I am not good clothes wise since I am in a plus size I found most of those cloths have too much wear between legs and stains on the shelf ( boobs) area....hey I have the same problem but that doesn't stop me from shoping thrift stores....every once in a while you will find something brand new.....and don't forget the household stuff....since I buy in bulk I also have to store this stuff.....tupperware at thrift store prices....a run through the dishwasher will usually do the trick...if it is stained a lot I will use bleach then run it through the dishwasher. No One knows I didn't buy it new....
Our motto is "If it's free it's for me" and I live by it....but not to the point that I will take something I cannot use or know someone who can. Twice a year I clean out the pantry and anything that didn't get used in a timely manner I take to the food bank....I found out from them that they are always in need of things the government will not supplement for like diapers, infant and adult and feminine products and paper goods. If I see a sale, a closeout and BIG discount I will pick them up and donate those too. Since I am always shopping for a bargain for me if I stumble on a bargain that will help someone else so be it. I cannot change the poor's habits and make them start using cloth diapers, and the thought of adult reusuable makes me ill....paper towels and napkin use ......so if I find them cheap I will buy it for them. Once I am done grad school and find a job I would love to donate time to the food bank and shelter locally and teach thrifty cooking and home management. Some people have had no one to teach them or never had to do with less before and just do not have the skills....
as far as napkins go....I usually use a paper towel...they are heavier and I dampen it and it works great....I have cloth napkins but I save them for company or use the paper napkins for company. I have allergies and I use tissues.
I grow veggies in the summer but also go to farms that are not that far away. I get great prices and freshness.
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Old 01-19-2003, 07:26 PM
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Hi CamShel:
I buy my cloth napkins in the thrift shop, usually 4/$1. You could also make them from cheap cotton, putting a nice edge on them. After Christmas, they are available very cheaply in the dept. stores. Red or green plain napkins could be used anytime, not just at Christmas.
In SC, we have a Bargain Foods Store where they sell bent and dent things, some out of date such as Mrs. Field's cookies, but they are each foil wrapped, so are great. In the regular grocery store, they are 10 oz. for $2.99. In the Bargain Foods Store, they are $.50 for 10 oz. I get a whole grocery cart full of food for $40-$70. That does not include meat except bacon for $1 lb. The meat is bought on sale at local grocery stores, chicken legs for $.17 a lb. or hamburger for just over $1 a lb.
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Old 01-19-2003, 08:08 PM
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I'll have to try the foil thing but most everything else I already do. Way to go everyone!!!

Here are a few of my extra "pet peeves" about waste:

For food, if it's processed or if man had something to do with making it, it's not good for you. We eat very little of this stuff. Starting January 1, the entire family is following the Body for Life plan and we do not even buy anything processed and, collectively, the three of us have lost 24 pounds since January 1.

I usually buy white things when I have a choice. Towels, linens, dishcloths, slipcovers, rugs and clothing. My mother in law thought I had lost my mind but anything white is the very easiest to clean and the slowest to show dirt. Much better than dark colors that show every piece of fuzz and lint.

Also, I refuse to use the air or heat in my house unless it's really necessary. In the summer, you want to come home and set the air conditioner on 65 but if it's 65 in the house in the winter, you want to crank the heater up to 75. I don't think so. I do keep the air at about 75 in the summer to avoid moisture in the air and not damage my furniture but in the winter, for the past few years we haven't used the heater at all. We live in South GA but, like today, it's 31 degrees outside but using our fireplace we are able to keep the living room toasty and the rest of the house is about 65-68. Wear a sweater. Put an extra blanket on the bed! AND for the past few years no one in the family has gotten a cold or the flu during the winter. Coincidence? Nope. My DH says it's because it's too cold for the germs to live here. GOOD!

One last thing.... retail? HA! DH won't go in the store with me when I'm buying (different from shopping) Every store wants to sell their items. If you've noticed something there that isn't moving and you want it, make a deal and walk away.Chances are they'll call you back and talk. We have a gorgeous Lane loveseat that converts to a single bed that I bought this past summer. I had to have it for company that was coming and it was perfect for my house (slipcovered in white so the color didn't matter!) It retailed for $850 and my final price with 2 free pillows thrown in, a set of sheets and free delivery, was $280. Delivered that afternoon. Don't be afraid to talk but find the manager or the store owner.

Another one, sorry I keep thinking of more LOL: cell phones, call the company every month and ask about new rates, new programs or special deals. Chances are, even if you aren't a new customer, they'll give it to you too or they'll comp you a month free. I haven't paid a cell phone bill in three months now. So far, I have to pay April's bill when it comes in but I'll try again.

And please everyone check your receipts, your change and your bank statements. I worked at a bank until I had to quit and go on disability. There were more mistakes made than you would ever imagine! And change: DH was almost ripped off at Walmart last night! HIs change for a $20 should have been $4.39 and the cashier shoved the money in his hand without counting it back to him. He looked at it and immediately dropped it on the tray in front of him and said "This isn't correct" She said "Oh, did I give you three instead of four?" she didn't even look at it or count it, she KNEW what she had done!! THEN she reached into her pocket and pulled out a dollar and gave it to him and said she'd get her money back when she opened the drawer again! HA!!!!

OK, that's all I can think of other than the things you make yourself instead of buying and also frugal decorating. I'm home all day long now so my JOB is to save money and still provide a nice, healthy, safe, pretty home!! It's a full time job but I love it!!
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Old 01-20-2003, 01:20 AM
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CamsShel - I get cloth napkins at the Thrift store - usually, 10 for 1.00 or 6 for 1.00 - I now have maybe 2 dozen or so all different colors etc. (I like eclectic - doesn't most people that shop at Thrift stores? Grin) that I have picked up....if you start watching for them you will see them. Also, you can pick them up very reasonable at yard sales.
It is funny, I use them because I like the feeling of cloth vs paper and also, for the $$ savings etc. but you would not believe how many people come for supper or lunch and cannot believe that I use cloth! They think I am being 'much too fancy' :p Many of my friends now also use cloth regularly after 'dining' in our home. It makes the table look nice.
BtW = I buy cotton - ones that feel nice.
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Old 01-20-2003, 05:12 AM
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Wow--I would love to find some cloth napkins for that price!! I haven't seen any at the thrift stores around here, but I keep looking! I haven't seen anything I could make them out of, either. If I'm going to go to the trouble of making them, I want them to match my stuff lol! Maybe I should just head to Walmart, buy some fabric, and just start sewing!!


Christy--I had to laugh when I read your post about the heat. Ours is set at 60-62. Dh won't let it go lower than that lol! We wear sweaters and sweatshirts, and add extra blankets at night. I like it a bit on the cool side anyway. But it amazes me how people will complain that it's cold at 65, but want it that cold when it's 100!! My mom won't come for a visit because my house is cold--but she won't put on a warmer shirt, either. I tell her what she used to tell me when I lived with her, "When you start paying the bill, you can set it at what you want!" It's kind of a joke, because her heat is covered in her rent.
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Old 01-20-2003, 08:24 AM
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Well Hello! Yep, I'd say this is one of my favorite topics.
Grocery shopping is a big, fun challenge to me.
Uhhh. Cold cereal. It is expensive, eaten in no time, and uses tons of milk. No cold cereal.
Paper towel. Why buy it when you have rags and fabric napkins?
The Expensive kinds of toilet paper...LOL you gotta be kidding.
Chicken broth...Cook a whole chicken and you have a lovely dinner, leftover chicken pieces in the freezer, and homemade chicken broth waiting for you in the fridge.

Garage sales and Thrift stores are too much fun. We live in FL, so there are garage sales year round. With some patience I held out for a nice, clean, updated Bread Maker. Found one last week at a garage sale for $5. Yipee!

I used to not buy laundry detergent. Made my own ...which is much fun. But! After a few months the white clothes were gray. So! I am back to buying laundry detergent until I can be supplied with a recipe that does the job, is inexpensive to make, and keeps clothes bright. Got one?

Foil in the dryer? Never tried that!

Hey! I would love to make my own shampoo, conditioner, lotion...well, you name it! Anyone have recipes for these, too!

May the Lord bless you all!



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Old 01-20-2003, 11:11 AM
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I'll have to try the foil in the dryer thing too!

Joyce, I have the same concern as Jeannie re draining food on newspapers. I use canvas bags to shop, so paper bags are a rare and valuable commodity in my house (the kids can pretty much forget about crafts using paper bags...haha!). I don't want to use clean cloth because I'm not sure how I would wash a lot of oil out of them...we have a septic system and we try to be pretty careful about what we put down our drains. But, the good thing is that we rarely eat foods with that much oil, so I can live with using paper towels occasionally for that.

I bought some 100% cotton fabric on sale to make my own napkins...that way I could get napkins in the colors/pattern I wanted.

I also refuse to buy knick-knacks and cheap plastic toys!
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Old 01-20-2003, 01:41 PM
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What do you refuse to buy?

I do buy the small individual water bottles but I reuse them over and over again. I kept one going for about 6 months. I think it is a waste of money to buy one and throw it away, also all that trash going to the landfills is awful.
I refuse to buy cookies, because I eat them right away and don't need the calories. I think I have bought one box in a year or more.
I refuse those horrible frozen dinners, especially the low cal, "healthy" ones. Not enough food on them for even a good snack.
I did buy some toothpaste made in India and will never do that again.
I only will buy all cotton underwear.
Don't buy chips - empty calories.
I don't buy meat, as I am a vegetarian and can no longer stand the sight or smell of it.
Gosh, I am fussy, as there are more things that I won't buy. I won't bore you with the details.
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Old 01-20-2003, 03:02 PM
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I loved reading about the heat...I keep mine turned down....62 it goes up to about 66 from 3-9Pm and 6-9am, even my son will ask if I am cold...I usually am not....his bedroom is the hottest room in the house...go figure...even when the heat is off his room is hot.
Summer though w/ my asthma I have to have A/C....I have window units so only use the ones I need to and I have ceiling fans. I have fans for the windows for cooler days but when the humidity is too high I have to use the A/C.

I got potholders last year for $.29 each...I love them some were funky colors but these were brown, they work great, the other day I got these really nice dishtowels that match my kitchen for $1 each, the quality is not the $1 quality...it was a buyout.

I also shop the discount bins at the stores I shop....I got a real cute mat/doily thing with snow men on it and used it in my TV room and made a little scene with a candle and snowmen and a woodblock calander w/ a snowman on the back( it changes by the seasons)....so cute

I once got a circular saw for $15! new in box...store was discontinuing them....I also needed the saw
I even have bought slightly damaged things and touched them up w/ a little paint or glue or replace something and it is like new....just think out of the box....
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Old 01-20-2003, 03:13 PM
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Camshel, We also only use cloth napkins. I have always gotten them at yard sales or thrift stores, and haven't paid more than 25 cents each. I must have 50 or so now. Once people know you use them, you'll get them as gifts too.
We also started using rags and washing them, instead of using paper towels. It's amazing how much paper we have used over the years. When I was a kid, people always used rags! What happened to everyone? I think advertising made people really believe we had to have these products.
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